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Will filing for bankruptcy help lift my DMV driver’s license suspension?
A person’s driver’s license might be suspended for any number of reasons like not paying child support or traffic tickets. The Department of Motor Vehicles can also suspend a person’s license for financial responsibility reasons when he or she fails to satisfy a judgment resulting from an auto accident that they caused while not having enough insurance or not having any insurance at all.
When somebody’s driver’s license has been suspended for financial responsibility reasons, the bankruptcy courts treat that judgment as unsecured debt. In light of the debt being categorized as unsecured, a person might be able to get his or her driver’s license reinstated by filing for bankruptcy through either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 proceeding.
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Federal law vs. state law
As soon as a debtor is discharged in bankruptcy federal law prohibits any listed creditor from pursuing collection action on a debt. That federal law considers withholding a person’s driver’s license because they owe a debt a collection action. What that translates into is that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles can’t continue to prohibit a person from driving regardless of the fact that there was a debt from a car accident that occurred long ago. Federal law controls under these circumstances.
Upon being discharged in bankruptcy, you can take the appropriate paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles and show a representative that the financial responsibility debt has been discharged. A certified copy of the order discharging you is the best evidence. Don’t forget to bring your proof of insurance. Along with the reinstatement fee, some additional paperwork might be required, but the door is wide open to having a valid California driver’s license again.
What a discharge in bankruptcy won’t do
A discharge in bankruptcy isn’t going to help you get your license reinstated if the judgment against you was for injuries or property damage resulting from a DUI. Any penalties like fines and court costs that might be owed to the government can’t be discharged in bankruptcy either.
If the failure to pay a judgment has resulted in a driver’s license suspension along with other debt has made your situation seemingly hopeless, don’t despair. There is hope for a new start through the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Contact a Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer today
Contact us by phone or email for a free bankruptcy consultation and case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys. We might be able to get started on getting your driver’s license back.
We assist people with bankruptcy in the following areas and counties of California:
- Los Angeles County
- San Fernando Valley
- Orange County
- San Bernardino County
- Riverside County
- Ventura County
- Santa Barbara County